A pro-government group has warned that school pupils are being incited and even paid to join Hong Kong’s ongoing anti-government protests and the authorities need to take action to protect the city’s children.

Waving placards that read “No child soldier”, Safeguard Hong Kong staged a demonstration outside the government’s headquarters in Admiralty on Monday.

Convenor Kennedy Wong claimed one 16-year-old girl had been offered HK$2,000 by alumni of her school to join an anti-government march.

He added that the group is worried that teachers are also inciting their pupils to take part in illegal acts.

“We have handed a letter to the Education Bureau, and urged the Hong Kong government to immediately increase its efforts and discuss with schools and teaching bodies to try to persuade and convince our youngsters not to come out to participate in unlawful events,” Wong said.

The group said it was saddened to see a sharp rise in the number of children being arrested in relation to the protests since the new school year began earlier this month.